15
votes
3answers
536 views

Starting sentences with mathematical symbols.

I apologise if this is a duplicate in any way or is too opinion-based. To what extent is it best not to start a sentence with a mathematical symbol? I find that when trying to solve a problem or ...
2
votes
1answer
35 views

Semidirect product notation convention

I was taught that if $G \simeq H \ltimes K$, then (by convention) $H$ is the subgroup that is normal, but I see on Wikipedia and elsewhere that other people use the convention that the above indicates ...
2
votes
2answers
90 views

why function argument is on right side $f(x)$ rather than on left side as $xf$

Is there an advantage for writing function arguments on the right side as $f(x)$ rather than on the left side as $xf$? The latter looks more natural if we think about it in diagram as $domain ...
6
votes
4answers
147 views

Zero polynomial [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Polynomial of degree $-\infty$? Today in Abstract Algebra my instructor briefly mentioned that sometimes the zero polynomial is defined to have degree $-\infty$. What ...
7
votes
2answers
343 views

Why does this text insist on changing the variable name here?

In What is mathematics? by Courant, Robbins, and Stewart, "5. An important inequality", the authors change $n$ in this example: $$(1+p)^n\geq1+np$$ to $r$ in this example: $$(1+p)^r\geq1+rp$$ In ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What does a “convention” mean in mathematics?

We all know that $0!=1$, the degree of the zero polynomial equals $-\infty$, the interval$[a,a)=(a,a]=(a,a)=\emptyset$ ... and so on, are conventions in mathematics. So is a convention something that ...
6
votes
2answers
180 views

Good Hygiene in using Quantifiers

When using quantifiers it is probably important to pick up certain habits that Veterans agree upon as early as possible. Since it was pointed out to me by a highly esteemed member that it's ...